City of Wilmington to consider purchase of Thermo Fisher building

City of Wilmington to consider purchase of Thermo Fisher building
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 2:49 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The City of Wilmington is considering a purchase of the Thermo Fisher (formerly PPD) building in downtown Wilmington.

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the City Council is scheduled to consider providing a fully refundable $500,000 earnest money deposit to explore purchasing the 12.5-acre campus.

The deposit would give the city 120 days to consider the potential purchase.

The property includes a 1,000-space parking deck, 370,000 square feet of office space and two adjoining development tracts.

“The purchase agreement includes a negotiated sales price of $68 million for the entire campus, including office furnishings, which reports a combined real and personal property tax value of $141 million as of 2022,” a news release from the city states. “The city’s costs could be substantially offset by selling several of its current office buildings, which would no longer be needed, excluding historic Thalian Hall/City Hall. Selling the adjoining development lots and leasing excess office space would further offset the city’s acquisition costs.”

City officials say the lease to Thermo Fisher could generate around $2 million annually.

“In view of our space needs assessment, acquiring this 12.5-acre campus in northern downtown could provide a highly creative and far more cost-effective solution to the city’s long-term space needs, especially in view of the opportunities to offset the purchase cost and add parking capacity,” said City Manager Tony Caudle. “Over the course of the 120-day due diligence period, city staff will thoroughly analyze the costs and benefits of the acquisition so that City Council can make an informed decision.”

Ned Glascock with Thermo Fisher issued a statement as well, saying that their PPD clinical research business is looking for new office space in the city.

“The multi-year initiative will enable the business to better match current and future workspace needs with flexible work models. The office space exploration is part of a process that could take two or more years to complete,” Glascock said.

He also said they have received a number of proposals from interested parties, including Wilmington. However, no agreements have been signed yet.

“Our business remains committed to Wilmington both as an employer that continues to expand hiring locally and globally, and as a good corporate citizen investing in the communities where our colleagues live and work,” he said.